Chicago Bulls shooting guard Jimmy Butler bet on himself this season when he didn’t agree to a contract extension last summer, and Butler has won big after blossoming into a star and winning the Most Improved Player of the Year award. Naturally, other teams will be lining up for his services this summer, and Real GM’s Shams Charania says the Los Angeles Lakers are prepared to extend Butler a maximum offer sheet.
Of course, as Butler is a restricted free agent, the Bulls can match any offer. The 25-year-old could also just turn down any offer sheet and sign a max with Chicago. Considering he has been the Bulls’ best player all season, there’s little reason to believe that Chicago won’t offer Butler a max deal, even if it puts them in luxury tax territory for next season.
Once the cap rises, Butler will be a bargain assuming he stays healthy and doesn’t all of a sudden regress. He’s one of the best two-way players in the league, and his value has been on full display against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the postseason.
Butler could make things tricky by looking to sign a shorter deal in order to take advantage of the rising cap in a few years, or he could be really risky and sign the small qualifying offer and become an unrestricted free agent next summer when the cap makes its first big jump to around $90 million.
However, there’s little indication that Butler plans on doing that, and don’t expect him to be anywhere but Chicago next season.